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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    Houdinii
  • Author
  • 3,455 Words
  • 1,094 Views
  • 5 Comments

Shadow Of The Truth - 1. Chapter 1.5

The sound of the door slamming was ominous to say the least. Why did that asshole feel the need to go booze it up all day, and take it out on me when his cash runs out? He could have bought his only child a pair of shoes, but instead he had me sitting there, shaking like a leaf and wondering if I’d be recognizable after the beating. To think I still call him ‘Dad’. I really should keep a bat under the bed. I doubt I could do much damage with the just the bare hangers in the closet. Hell, I can’t even hide in there since he tore the door off last time. Lucky for me he didn’t listen when I told him to ditch the kitchen’s landline for a cell. When it rang, I dove out the window.

It didn’t take long for the tears to flow as I ran past the other trailers full of people that could have cared less about the abuse that takes place just yards away, day after day. A smoke would’ve been nice right then, but my Marlboros were back at the house. ‘Maybe Gas N’ Grab will have a cig display at the register. It shouldn’t be too hard to rip off if that blond chick is working. The clueless broad will never see me coming,’ I thought.

Peering into the windows of the mini-mart from a distance, I made sure that the place was empty of other customers. Seeing that it was, I wiped my eyes on my tattered shirt and made my plan. I only have one shot at this; better make it good. The lights over the gas pump were almost blinding after running there in the dark. The blond chick frowned and put her magazine down as she saw me coming. It’s a typical reaction to seeing a teen at midnight approaching the store, I suppose, especially me for some reason. It could be the clothes. I get ‘the look’ even in my Sunday’s best. As I pulled the door open, I heard the ding-dong of the door’s chime needlessly announcing my presence to blondie.

“What can I getcha, Logan?” she asked.

My hands were shaking as I asked for one of the lighters behind her. As soon as she turned around my hands shot up and made the grab. I stuffed three packs down my pants before her attention returned to me.

“That’ll be a dollar twenty-three.” She said while punching the numbers into the machine, as she took my cash. With the ‘transaction’ complete, I mumbled a “thank you,” and hit the pavement.

I knew that the police were constantly lurking around the small town this time of night, so I had to find shelter to avoid yet another curfew violation, especially since I had just pulled a theft on the gas station. I decided to cross through the park to the cemetery and enjoy the quiet night. The place became a safe-haven of sorts when I need a place to hide out. It is quickly becoming a very familiar place. As I walked between headstones through the neatly clipped grass, I fished out the loot of my heist, and prayed that I nabbed a good brand.

“Virginia Slims… shoot me now!” I thought to myself. I risked juvie to get my nicotine fix and I ended up grabbing chick cigarettes. Sure, they smoke, but yuck. They taste like perfume, and you’d have to smoke three of them at the same time to get the same effect. After breaking the cellophane seal, and tearing off the foil, I lit up and inhaled deeply, finally.

Behind the mausoleums in the rear of Mt. Evergreen Cemetery is my home away from home. The small brick building must have been a grounds keeper’s tool shed, but it was long since abandoned. At the entrance of the shack is an old wooden door that never has been a challenge jimmying open. Trapped heat from the late spring days escaped the doorway as a single bulb barely lit the room when I popped the door and flicked the switch. Making my way to the shelves that line the wall, I checked and made sure that my knapsack was still where I left it. I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to keep something safe, it had to stay out of his reach; otherwise, it would be just another tool to torture me.

As I sat in the corner, I pulled out all of my worldly possessions out of the bag realizing that they didn’t amount to much. After spotting the familiar brown wood of a picture frame, I pulled it out, reminiscing. A happy family of four smiled back at me as the inevitable tears began to fall for the second time tonight. I can still remember how hard it was to pose for that picture without laughing at my brother Tony. As the older brother, it was up to him to set a good example, but as always, he decided to be a clown. My mother was scolding Tony while barely holding back a smirk of her own. Even Dad was smiling, which wasn’t so rare in those days.

Deciding not to dwell in the past, I scooped up my sketchpad and started on my latest project. The skulls jump off the page as the dark shadows continue to develop. Some might call this kind of art macabre, but something about the blackness calls to me. I can barely remember a time which life was associated with colors. Besides, I can only be the worst kind of person and kids from broken homes never amount to much, or so they say.

Before too long, the heat inside the small building became overwhelming forcing me to the outside air. If only there was a way to steal a fan from somewhere to ventilate the place, I would be able to sleep in here. I could probably rip off a ceiling fan from the hardware store, but Bill, the owner, is one of the few people that don’t feel like kicking me when I’m down. You can’t step on the people that are good to you. Instead, I’ll just prop my head against the marble and let the sunrise be my alarm. After zipping up my bag, I settled in and bid Mary Godwinson (1812 – 1901) a good night.

“Hey kid!” The voice brought me out of my slumber. Blinking and staring through the sun, I found the intruder. “Are you alright? You’re soaking wet. Have you been here all night?”

“Um, fine. I’m fine. What time is it?” I ask, hoping I hadn’t overslept. Drenched in dew I pushed myself off the ground.

“It’s only five in the morning, but the sun is up. You’re not in trouble, eh?” The stranger actually seemed to care, but I just couldn’t take his kindness that early in the damn morning.

“I’m good, just locked out last night. I have to go.” I had a stab of guilt lying to the guy. He seemed nice enough, but the last thing I need is people looking after me, though. Good Samaritans mean big problems for me if they catch wind of the jackass at home. With a nod, I am gone, back through the park.

Risking another smoke in public, I lit up before I walked in the door of the trailer. I needed the calm. It’s not as if his snores are going to hurt or maim, but it’s still salt in the wound.

Chapter Break

“Egg Nog Brandy, old man?” Seeing my pops on the couch ate at my insides. The bottle was almost empty; the off-white liquid left only a reminder. “I bet if I wake you up right now you’ll cower like a bitch!” Words are easy when falling on deaf ears. Covering Jack up was a chore. ‘He’s so gross, seriously. Who wears tighty-whities anymore?’ The image refused to leave my mind. The emaciated man is withering to nothing only for a little of what he calls fun.

Stacks of bills littered the kitchen table, many which screamed ‘Last Notice’ and ‘Past Due’ in menacing red letters. That would explain why it’s so damn hot in here. “Of course you didn’t pay ‘em! How else would you get your shit?!” It would be so easy to pick that bottle up and crack him upside his head as he’s done to me so many times. Instead, I headed off to the bedroom to pull on a new set of dirty clothes, and got ready to face the day.

There weren’t many students at the tiny township high school. How many times I’ve thought, ‘I wish I could disappear,’ but there was no way to be a wallflower in a class of forty. Today was no exception. My shadow Jimmy came bounding over, to ask for a cigarette, no doubt.

“Hey Logan!” His enthusiasm was sickening.

“What’s up, Jimmy? Need a smoke?” I might as well save a bit of the little freshman’s dignity. After all, he is about the closest thing I have to a friend in this God forsaken place.

“Thanks! You’re a life saver, man. Hey, wanna skip and, I dunno, go out to the lake or something?” I didn’t know what was worse; attending the boring ass classes that I could easily pass in my sleep, or listening to ‘Mr. Happy’ for the next eight hours. What the hell, you only live once. It’s not like my father is going to ground me or something.

“Sure, Jimmy. Swimming sounds good. I didn’t want to hear about polynomials today anyway.” The smaller boy’s nose wrinkled at the math term, making it obvious that he was clueless. He had never said anything about his home, but I imagine that his situation is about on par with my own.

The lake Jimmy referred to was really more like a swamp or a lagoon. Covered in algae, it was kind of gross to swim in, but that never stopped us before. If you swim to the middle, the water is clean, but either way you go about it, you’re covered in green when you pull yourself out.

As I yanked off my shirt, I thought about what I might be ‘missing’ in class right about now. I’d probably be the butt-end of another joke, by Frankie most likely. ‘I hate that dude,’ I thought with disgust. There is a special place in Hell for people who pick on someone for being in a bad situation. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something that made my blood run cold.

The sight of the wounds crossing Jimmy’s back caused me to spin him around to face me. Seeing him cower as if I was ready to smack him around struck a chord, and I knew exactly what his home life was like.

“Jimmy, your pops do that to you?” His first reaction was to look at his feet, but I knew better. My dad smacks me around, but I know I could crush him if I wanted to. But Jimmy?

“It’s not right, Jim. Is it your dad, or your dumbass brothers? Look at me!” I was beginning to feel exasperated. I just wanted to know! I didn’t know what I could do about it, but I couldn’t allow it to happen again.

“Let’s just swim, Logan, okay? You can’t do anything about it, anyways, you know?”

I couldn’t help but think ‘Yeah, he doesn’t know me very well, obviously.’ With tears in his eyes, Jimmy feigned a smile and dove into the murky waters.

I looked down at my own skin, and realized how screwed up the situation was. If anything, my bruises were worse, and I had given Jimmy hell. ‘I have seriously got to do something about this, but what? It’s not like I can kill them BOTH in their sleep, although… No, can’t kill ‘em both.’ I could not tame the violence that was swirling in my mind. I probably stood naked on the edge of the pond for ten minutes before I felt a wad of nastiness smack me across the face, followed by a laugh that only a hyena could pull off. “At least he hasn’t lost his sense of humor,” I say to no one in particular.

Spending the day with Jimmy was surprisingly enjoyable. It wasn’t the first time we had dared to brave the waters of ‘Lost Lake’ together, but it was the first time I looked at Jimmy as a cohort in the bullshit we both found ourselves caught up in. I have to hand it to him, though.

I turn into a depressed mess, yet I have never seen Jimmy in a bad mood. I saw a glimmer of darkness when I was giving him the inquisition, and it shook me to the core. An odd sense of possessiveness took hold, and I just wanted him to be safe.

“Hey Jimmy, you think you can stick with me for a few days, ya know, so you don’t have to go home?” As if my own home was any better, but I’d smack the snot off of dear old Dad if he went after him. As I treaded water, I felt a little guilty putting him on the spot.

“I... I… don’t know if I should. If I don’t do my chores…” He started to tremble, again surprising me. It wasn’t until he sobbed that I realized the smiles and the happiness I have always seen was a front for a far worse demon. Wasting no time, I pulled the boy over and gave him an awkward embrace that he seemed to need so desperately. True to his form, Jimmy’s tears dried up and he went back to flinging seaweed at me as if the sudden onslaught of emotions never happened.

Tired and feeling unable to hold myself above water much longer, I swam to the water’s edge. The sun was damn hot; it must have been high noon. Perching on a rock, I watch Jimmy as he swims and splashes in his own little world. I’ve done many shitty things to deserve what I got, but that kid hasn’t. With an evil smirk and unshaking tenacity, I vowed, ‘It ends today!’

Chapter Break

“Hey Logan, if I stayed with you, would we still go to school? You know I wouldn’t be able to avoid Todd. He is my brother and will tell my dad where I am.” The matter-of-fact manner in which he spoke was unnerving. You would think he was talking about what he was going to have for lunch, not about running away from an abusive household, hopefully never to return.

“I don’t know yet, dude. I still have to figure things out on my end.” The more I sat there and thought about it, the crazier it seemed. I couldn’t so much as feed myself, let alone take on another mouth to feed. The sun was pounding down on us as we sat on the rocks surrounding the lakes. I made up my mind about what was going to happen when evening rolled around, but I was scared shitless, and the simple act of making small talk was barely calming me down. Once I had made up my mind, I was ready to get it done and over with.

While it was planned in my head, I was still skeptical if we could pull it off. ‘If I take Jack’s booze money when I put him in his place tonight, I might get a couple weeks’ worth of groceries. Then he’ll go out and try to score some dope to sell to buy his drinks, and I’ll hit him up again for his cash. It’ll be perfect!’ As if he sensed my nervousness, Jimmy broke my train of thought to throw in his own ideas.

“I have almost two thousand dollars, you know. Remember how my Grandpa Al had that racehorse?” I didn’t, but I still nodded. “He left Buttercup to me when he died, and since we don’t have a place for a horse, it was sold. I never spent any of the money. My mom put it in the bank before she ran out on us.”

“Seriously, Jim? Holy shit! Okay, that changes things a bit.” That could get us a great start up north in Chicago or something. I’d still have to take care of Jack tonight so I could get his car, but two grand?

“Here’s what we are going to do. School’s going to let out soon. You come home with me and we’ll chill at my place for a while. When Jack gets home, hop out the window. I’ll get some cash off him, and we can go to a place I know. If we get split up, meet me at the park.” As I am running this past him, he became more aware and wide-eyed about what I planned. When I came to the part about what I planned to do with the eggnog brandy bottle, he didn’t even flinch. It was slightly eerie discussing how we were going to rid ourselves of our problems. The resolve, however, took all the pressure off, leaving only instinct behind.

On a normal day, it would have taken a half hour to walk home from the lake. Today, it took what felt like five minutes. With adrenaline coursing through my veins, I was ready. The excitement was short-lived and dead in the water as soon as we walked through the front door.

“Jesus, Logan, we’ll die if we have to wait in here!” I had forgotten all about the power being out.

“Shit. If we leave, we’ll miss him. I have to stay ‘cause we need the car.” I doubted whether that was the real reason or not, but it sounded good. I grabbed the bottle for emphasis, as if demonstrating what I wanted to do was going to make him want to stay.

“Logan, get real. Are you planning to kill him? If you don’t he’ll call the cops, and we would be caught for sure. Let’s just catch the Greyhound. If we can wait until tomorrow, I’ll get the money out of the bank and we can ditch town!”

His logic made sense, but I was still reluctant. I wouldn’t be missed around here and it hurt to know that. I wanted to leave my mark. “I suppose your right, lil’ dude. Let me grab some clothes and we can go.” Leaving Jimmy in the living room, I went to the back of the singlewide. I then gathered what was left of my belongings, and stuffed them into an old pillowcase. I must have been in my own little world; I didn’t even hear what was going on in the next room until it was almost too late.

“Who the hell are you, and what are you doing in my house?” I heard dishes hitting the floor and knew in an instant that Jimmy was in trouble. The sight in the kitchen turned my stomach upside-down as I watched Jack pick up my friend and throw him through the laundry room door, splitting the wood straight down the middle. I had seen enough.

I noticed my weapon was luckily still in my hand, and I approached the man that had made my life a living hell. The hollow sound the bottle made only made me smile as he turned around to see what caused his pain.

“You little fu…” He never finished that sentence. The brandy bottle caught him in the temple a second time, and he fell unconscious in an instant. Shards of glass flew, and the bottleneck sliced into my hand. Replacing the guilt that I hadn’t expected was panic as I looked at Jimmy’s twisted form on the floor. Even out like a light, he still had that crooked grin slapped on his face. Without giving it a second thought, I dug into Jack’s pockets, grabbing the keys to his car and a hundred and eight dollars.

“Damn, Jimmy! For five foot two, you weigh a ton!” He was still breathing, and I hoped he was okay as I carried him down the driveway to the piece of crap Oldsmobile. Maneuvering him into the passenger side wasn’t easy, but I wasn’t in the position to be picky. We had to get the hell out of there.

Chapter Break

“Logan…” He was waking up. I would bet his head was pounding.

“Jimmy, shhh. It’s all over. We’re on our way, okay?

 

(TBC)

This was an assignment to introduce the main character. The next chap. will be the bridge, and one will be added before it for the story intro. All feedback about the main character is appreciated!

Copyright © 2014 Houdinii; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

the breaks worked fine and it was way better than the first one I read. Keep on writing

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What a great new story, Houdinii! :)

 

I don't know how I missed when this was first posted.

 

My heart goes out to those two boys. No one should ever be in the situation they were in.

 

Ok, on to chapter two. Oh, and did you finish "Fifteen and LIfe to Go", damn, that wasn't the name of it, was it? I didn't think it was finished, but I haven't seen an update in awhile...

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On 04/01/2014 01:41 PM, Lisa said:
What a great new story, Houdinii! :)

 

I don't know how I missed when this was first posted.

 

My heart goes out to those two boys. No one should ever be in the situation they were in.

 

Ok, on to chapter two. Oh, and did you finish "Fifteen and LIfe to Go", damn, that wasn't the name of it, was it? I didn't think it was finished, but I haven't seen an update in awhile...

I had gotten really busy with school, so the last chapters of 15 and life to go are still in editing phase. Now that I'm taking a Creative Writing class, though, I'm getting back in the groove. Should be finished shortly ;)
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